GUISBOROUGH TOWN has been hit by three break-ins and thefts of property recently as it battles like many businesses and organisations to keep its head above water during the coronavirus crisis.

One of the top non-league teams on Teesside, the KGV Stadium-based Northern League Club, which relies heavily on the support of volunteers, has been hit three times in the past month.

Various items of club property – much of it generously donated – have been stolen, including quantities of wood, artificial turf and flower boxes from the outdoor patio area and even a well-used second hand wheelbarrow.

The thefts have infuriated voluntary officials at the Northern League Club, particularly coming at a time when the club’s income streams have dried up due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Club chairman Don Cowan said: “It is soul-destroying to have this kind of thing happening when we are all working very hard to do our best to offset the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis.

“Obviously, we are not able to play matches at the moment and the clubhouse has been closed temporarily, so our income has all but dried up since the club went into total lockdown.

“We have been doing our best to offset the loss of this valuable income with our fund-raising efforts, the flagship of which has been the recent launch of our 50-Fifty club draw which is being well supported. Apart from the financial loss of the items stolen, it is heart-breaking for our dedicated band of volunteers who are doing their level best to help Guisborough Town.

“In particular our Vice Chairman, Don Robinson, works tremendously hard at the KGV Stadium to help improve the club’s facilities and it’s so hard on him to see his efforts being knocked back by these thieves who clearly have no scruples or consciences.”

The club has informed the police about the break-in, but realise that the force is stretched at the moment due to coronavirus.

Club officials and volunteers are therefore stepping up their efforts to increase vigilance and security at the KGV Stadium. Anyone with any information about the thefts is asked to contact Cleveland Police, quoting Crime Reference Number 079614.

Meanwhile, the club is also in the process of ramping up its fund-raising efforts with plans to further boost its successful 50-Fifty club scheme and plans to launch a major sponsorship drive ahead of the new season, whenever that may be.

“We have always been a very community-conscious club but we have raised our profile and involvement in that area considerably over the past few months,” added Mr Cowan. “We have partnered with the Guisborough Bridge Association to support them in the superb charitable and other work they do for the benefit of the local Guisborough community.

“In addition, we have over 200 young players involved in our junior section and will be launching ladies and girls teams next season – so there is a lot happening at Guisborough Town despite the restrictions we are having to contend with during the current coronavirus challenges. We are also planning to launch a major sponsorship drive for the club which will provide some great opportunities for local and regional businesses to support the club – more about that in the coming weeks.”